AirAsia head pays RM3.64m settlement with Securities Commission over MAS share purchase

Datuk Kamarudin Meranun speaks during a press conference after the official launch of the Medical Travel Market Intelligence Conference (insigHT2018) in Kuala Lumpur September 3, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Datuk Kamarudin Meranun speaks during a press conference after the official launch of the Medical Travel Market Intelligence Conference (insigHT2018) in Kuala Lumpur September 3, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — A RM3.64 million settlement with the Securities Commission (SC) was paid off by AirAsia Group Bhd co-founder and executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun for the purchase of 5.55 million Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) shares in August 2011.

The Edge today reported that Kamarudin owns a 32.18 per cent stake in AirAsia through his equity interest in Tune Live Sdn Bhd and Tune Air Sdn Bhd.

The SC said Kamarudin had on April 2 agreed without admission or denial of liability to settle a claim that the SC was proposing to institute against him for acquiring the MAS shares.

The shares acquisition was purchased through the account of Nor Ashikin Khamis and Malizan Mahmood while in possession of inside information contrary to Section 188(2) of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007 (CMSA).

“The settlement was reached following letters of demand sent by the SC pursuant to its civil enforcement powers under the securities laws,” the SC was quoted as saying. 

“The amount disgorged from Datuk Kamarudin Meranun is equivalent to three times the difference between the price at which the shares were acquired and the price at which the shares would have been likely to have been acquired at the time of the acquisition, if the information had been generally available,” it explained.

The regulator said a director of AmanahRaya Investment Management Sdn Bhd, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amanah Raya Bhd, who was named as Abdul Radzim Abdul Rahman, and one Mohamed Radzif Mohamed Shamsudin had also entered into a settlement on April 9 with the SC for the sum of RM750,000 each.

The SC said both Radzim and Radzif had acquired 3.16 million and 2.5 million MAS shares respectively.

It was reported that the monies recovered will be applied in accordance with Section 201(7) of the CMSA.

On August 9, 2011, MAS had entered into a Comprehensive Collaboration Framework with AirAsia and AirAsia X Sdn Bhd, which had involved Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Tune Air Sdn Bhd.

Khazanah and Tune Air entered a share swap agreement for the cross-holding of shares, which resulted in the latter obtaining a 20.5 per cent stake in the national carrier while the sovereign wealth fund gained a 10 per cent in AirAsia.

The agreement had set MAS as a full-service premium carrier while AirAsia and AirAsia X would be regional low-cost and medium-to-long haul low-cost carriers respectively.

The deal was, however, aborted eight months late following public outcry.

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